My son has tried out to be captain of his drum line for the past two years, and both years he did not earn the title. However, he spends his time showing the younger students how to march, how to keep their sticks even and how to maintain a positive attitude, even when they are tired from long, hot practices. As he says, "I don't have the title, but I've learned to be a leader in my group."

The world of high school is a far cry from the highly competitive nature of the business world where every dollar equals shareholder value. However, the role of leadership doesn't change. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share the power of a leadership position and how a leader's potential is only maximized when the individual understands and leverages these three characteristics.

1. Performance: This is simply what you do. Like it or not, at the end of the day, quarter or year, leaders are evaluated by what they get done. Leaders are paid to get results. They are not paid for their intentions or mere activity.

"I meant to have a discussion with the underperforming team member but I just haven't had a chance to talk to him," says the well-meaning leader. The question is not, "Did you talk to him?" the question is, "Did the underperforming team member's behavior improve?" Intentions without actions create nothing. Action—having the talk with the underperformer—that doesn't produce results is simply activity, not productivity. Performance is measured by results.

2. Presence is who you are. You can't be one type of person and another type of leader. Who you are, in the core of your being, will determine your presence. How big is your presence?

Someone who is physically large is noticed when he or she simply walks into a room. Former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal is more than seven feet tall and weighs in at more than 300 pounds. Everywhere he goes, his physical presence is commanding.

When you enter a room, are you noticed? Are you respected? Do people want your input? Are you listened to? Are you commanding? Your presence is the key to positively and powerfully influencing people.

Remember, a title or position does not a leader make. A position can be conferred on you. When something is conferred it is placed and bestowed on you by someone else. It is recognition of a position. Your position allows you to perform the roles and functions of a leader, but it is your presence that determines your effectiveness. Presence is inferred upon you. Something inferred involves a conclusion. People are concluding, "This person has a dynamic presence about them that makes me want to follow them."

Constantly invest time and money in personal growth and you will become remarkable—or present—in what you do.

3. Profitability is the value you bring to those you lead. The bottom-line number reflects profitability, but it is more than that. Is your team profitable because of you? In the arena of interaction with those you lead, are they better—more profitable themselves—because they are around you? Do you inspire? Do you motivate? Do you create synergy?

There are many world-class athletes playing in team sports who have tremendous individual skills, yet their team fails to obtain championship status. Michael Jordan was arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, but his greatness wasn't only measured by his ability to make baskets and his incredible desire to win, but by making others better. He helped raise the entire team to a winning, championship level.

When you maximize the three P's—productivity, presence and profitability—you will make the headlines with the most important people in your sphere of influence—those who are following you.

Source: David Waits, founder of Waits Consulting Group, Inc., is a highly sought-after consultant, speaker and author. As a proven expert in developing powerful initiatives that revolutionize culture, Waits helps his clients create a thriving organizational environment that facilitates rapid growth, innovative development and on-going profitability. He has worked with clients in all 50 states, including Quest Diagnostics, General Dynamics, Major League Baseball, Walmart, Walt Disney World and numerous other world-class organizations.